Platt Amendment

Author:   Elihu Root Date:1901 Annotation: In 1901, after the United States had occupied Cuba for five years, Secretary of War Elihu Root drafted a set…

First Open Door Note

Author:   John Hay Date:1899 Annotation: First Open Door Note. In 1899, Secretary of State John Hay issued a statement addressing the U.S. policy toward China.…

The Hawaiian Situation: The Invasion of Hawaii

Author:   Eugene Tyler Chamberlain Date:1893 Annotation: Hawaiian annexation. After a century of American rule, many native Hawaiians remain bitter about how the United States acquired…

The Hawaiian Situation: Our Present Duty

Author:   William M. Springer Date:1893 Annotation: Hawaiian annexation, 1893   Document: In the complications which have arisen recently in the Hawaiian Islands a few residents, prompted…

A Plea for Annexation

Author:   John Stevens Date:1893 Annotation: An article that appeared in The North American Review concerning the annexation of Hawaii. John Stevens, the author, was United States Minister…

Sea Power

Author:   Alfred T. Mahan Date:1890 Annotation: Alfred Thayer Mahan was influential in helping to build-up naval defenses before World War I. He emphasized the importance…

The Farce of the Chinese Exclusion Laws

Date:1898 Annotation: Article on Chinese exclusion in the North American Review. From 1882 until 1943, most Chinese immigrants were barred from entering the United States. The…

Plessy v. Ferguson

Date:1896 Annotation: In 1890, Louisiana passed a law prohibiting people of different races from traveling together on trains. This law was one of many forms of…

Populist Party Platform

Date:1896 Annotation: Platform of the Populist Party in 1896. In the late 19th century, the Populist Party increased in popularity among western farmers, largely because they…

Should the Chinese Be Excluded?

Date:1893 Annotation: Article on Chinese exclusion in the North American Review. The United States imposed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. It barred the entry of…

Chinese Exclusion Bill

Date:1892 Annotation: Article on Chinese Exclusion Bill in the American Missionary. Document: The Chinese Exclusion Bill, 1892 Undoubtedly this nation must throw some limitations on immigration to…

An Account of Sitting Bull’s Death

Annotation: Sitting Bull was the Indian chief of the Dakota Sioux. In 1876, his people were driven from the Black Hills reservation. In response, they took…

Wovoka’s Message

Author:   James Mooney Date:1891 Annotation: James Mooney, an ethnologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology, was sent to investigate the Ghost Dance movement in 1891.…

The Ghost Dance

Date:1890 Annotation: Mrs. Z.A. Parker, a white woman, gave an eyewitness account of a Ghost Dance she observed while visiting the Pine Ridge reservation, Dakota Territory…

Wealth

Date:1889 Annotation: Andrew Carnegie’s essay “Wealth.” Andrew Carnegie was born to poor Scottish parents that later immigrated to the United States. A true “rags to riches”…

Dawes Act

Date:1887 Annotation: In 1871 Congress declared that tribes were no longer separate, independent governments. It placed tribes under the guardianship of the federal government. The 1887…

The Exclusion of the Chinese

Date:1884 Annotation: Article on Chinese exclusion in the North American Review. From 1882 until 1943, most Chinese immigrants were barred from entering the United States. The…

The Pendleton Act (1883)

Date:1883 Annotation: George Plunkitt, a local leader of New York City’s Democratic Party, defended the spoils system, through which elected politicians filled government jobs with their…

The Chinese Exclusion Act

Date:1882 Annotation: The Chinese Exclusion Act, the first major restriction on immigration since the 1790 Naturalization Law, suspended immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years and…

Indian Policy Reform

Date:1881 Annotation: In this presidential message to Congress, President Chester Arthur calls for reform of federal Indian policy. Document: Indian Policy Reform Extract from President Chester Arthur’s…
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